Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
Finding the Dragon Lady
"Deeply intriguing...one hell of a story." - Daily Beast
More about this book
Author Biography

Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

Created: 10/07/14

Replies: 14

Posted Oct. 07, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

Expert

Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent in trying to get Madame Nhu to confide in her? Do journalists who research difficult topics over a long period of time share certain characteristics?


Posted Oct. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djn

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 82

Expert

RE: Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

I can understand persistence in getting the story, but I don't think she received enough new and interesting information to warrant all the time and effort she spent. It must have been very difficult to conduct conversations on the phone with a person so self absorbed.


Posted Oct. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbarab

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 39

RE: Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

I would not have been as persistent as the author. I would not liked to have been treated as she was by Madame Nhu. Ms Demery spent a lot of time in Vietnam & so little is known about Madame Nhu, I believe she found it fascinating, especially since she was still alive. It was her "light at the end of the tunnel".


Posted Oct. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 158

Expert

RE: Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

I guess she felt like she was going to get the big breakthrough any moment and it would justify all the time spent, but I agree that I doubt I would have been as persistent with all the false hopes Madame Nhu gave her. I would also have been a lot more skeptical about what she was telling me .... and probably spent more time on that aspect of the story -- trying to corroborate what she WAS telling me, rather than chasing after her for more. Madame Nhu seemed deluded even at the time about her own significance, so not sure how she could be trusted to remember as an older woman.


Posted Oct. 28, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 160

Expert

RE: Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

I have asked the author that very question in the "ask the author" section. I think the author showed more persistence than I would have, but I'm not sure she got enough to make it worth it. There were any breakthrough revelations that I saw in the book. Maybe she was so interested because she believed that history was judging Madame Nhu too harshly?


Posted Oct. 28, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindah

Join Date: 04/17/14

Posts: 90

Expert

RE: Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

Madame Nhu was larger than life, an immensely powerful figure in the determination of Vietnam's history and someone who eluded journalists and biographers. Although the author was never able to meet with her in person, I can well imagine the tantalizing hope of a breakthrough kept her optimistic through the late night, subject centered and directed conversations.


Posted Oct. 29, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
patricial

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 2

RE: Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

Early on in the book Demery uses numerous reasons for her choice of subject...simple curiousity, something of a lark and a little about her father's almost deployment to Vietnam. Luckily a grad student deferement saved him from becoming a statistic on the evening news, but not his friend. While all of these are perfectly good reasons to pursue this particular subject I felt the book had the look and feel of a dissertation. I think Demery's initial intentions were a little grander than what was finally published.


Posted Oct. 29, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alycet

Join Date: 04/23/12

Posts: 77

Expert

RE: Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

I think just plain curiosity got Monique Demery interested in Madame Nhu. Demery has a lot more patience than I do.


Posted Oct. 29, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 158

Expert

RE: Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

Madame Nhu kept dangling the hope of letting Ms. Demery read her memoir. The author already had a deep interest in Vietnamese history and finding and communicating with such a key historical figure must have seemed like a dream come true. In the end, I got the impression that the "memoir" didn't really exist and that Madame Nhu was just feeding her information that she wanted people to believe about her. Madame Nhu is the epitome of the "unreliable narrator."


Posted Oct. 30, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 294

Expert

RE: Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

I believe the author wanted to eventually reveal a groundbreaking story. Maybe something along the lines of former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's totally truthful (finally) interview about the Vietnam War - a war called the American War in Vietnam.


Posted Oct. 30, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynnw

Join Date: 09/01/11

Posts: 124

Expert

RE: Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

Madame Nhu is one of those characters in history that is an enigma. She is someone that I can understand becoming interested in and, being that she was alive and possible to interview, it was an opportunity that most historians do not get.


Posted Oct. 31, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickio

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 9

RE: Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

If she was looking for a story ( which I think she was), this one grew pretty naturally out of her experiences and interests ---and the fact that Madame Nhu was alive made the possibility of getting new and exciting material a real possibility. I think the author was persistent because once she started, she couldn't stop and every scrap of information just kept her going.


Posted Nov. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 155

Expert

RE: Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

Authors is a Vietnamophile. Fascinating woman, authors curiosity is piqued. Madame was/is a challenge. After the promise of the gift of her diary, don't blame the author for her persistence, once again the mystery surrounding Madame hooked the author and most likely the audience.


Posted Nov. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
eunicev

Join Date: 10/25/14

Posts: 5

RE: Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

I think the challenge of telling the exclusive, definitive story of Madame Nhu was so compelling that the author poured her soul into the search for the REAL woman. Even when the author realized she wasn't going to get the 'truth' or any in-depth version of Madame Nhu's version of the history she lived through, I imagine she pursued her goal to give the world the most comprehensive, if flawed, biography of this fascinating villain. I congratulate her for her persistence. I found the book absolutely worth the time as it was entertaining and expanded my understanding.


Posted Nov. 04, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
chrisl

Join Date: 02/13/13

Posts: 2

RE: Why do you think the author got so interested in Madame Nhu’s story? Why was she so persistent?

I enjoyed the book immensely and echo many of the responses. Also, on a small scale I compare the author and her intense research to a diligent detective working to solve a crime that has evolved over years. There will always be more questions, facts, frustrations, disappointments, surprises, intriguing finds, and much, much more. Ms.Demery poured herself into the writing of this book and made it for me, a winner!


Reply

Please login to post a response.